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Head Over Heels

by:Rachel

Gilge’s PlaceEnjoying some reading aloud at Dean and Jayne’s on a restful Sunday afternoon.

Sundays are days of delight. It’s not so much about going to church. Church is sometimes a hard thing: no nursery, masses of people, long drive through heavy traffic to get there. But after church comes times of fellowship with other believers—life-giving water to my soul. The Kentucky Fried Chicken at our friends’ house is really great too!:-) It’s the third Sunday we’ve joined Dean and Jayne Gilge at their home, a wonderful couple from Wisconsin who we love to spend time with. Other people join us as well and we enjoy times of conversation, music and book sharing, and of course, tasty food.
Yesterday evening after the day had mostly passed, we decided to take a jaunt over to my favourite coffeeshop—Barista Créme. It is a coffeeshop that is comfortingly similar to ones I’d frequent in Minneapolis and we often visit there. Usually we sit inside on a comfy couch enjoying cappuccinos as we take a break in the activities of our day. I also like to go there by myself (almost) and enjoy a chocolate croissant with my cappuccino while Aria scurries down around my feet or walks herself around one of the coffee tables near me. It usually isn’t too crowded, just to my taste, though the music is often techno and too loud.
Sunday nights, however, must be a popular time to hit the coffee shops—they’re all full. We usually don’t sit at the outside tables, but didn’t have too much of a choice. So we grouped together under a low table canopy and ordered our drinks of choice from there. Our waiter asked if we’d like the high chair for Aria and went to get it for us. Apparently, it was occupied, so he grabbed an extra chair from behind us, wiped it off carefully, and set it right between John and me.
“I guess the high chair is being used,” I said.
Unbeknownst to us, the chair set beside us was a trap waiting to spring. All the outdoor chairs are a folding type, but don’t strike one as such as they look sturdy and have arm rests. Just after the waiter took our order, I set Aria down in the chair so conveniently placed beside me. WHOOSH! Before I could even blink her heels kicked up, the seat of the chair folded backwards, and Aria was roughly deposited to the cement below us. Thankfully her padded bum hit the ground first and then she fell onto her back without as much impact—a little cuddling and she was good as new.
What struck us all as funny and odd and just not right was the waiter’s response. He had seen the whole thing transpire and looked somewhat frightened. After all, who knows how white people are going to react to a situation such as this. Unfortunately, he let his fear get the better of him and he said to John, “Please sir, don’t put her in that chair again.”
We were dumbstruck by the way he acted as though he had had no part to play in the little drama. He had clearly set the chair beside John and I for Aria since the high chair couldn’t be procured. But here he was, acting as if it had been only our idea and telling us not to act so foolishly again.
Fortunately for him, we were hardly upset and were more struck by how different things would have played out if we were in a coffee shop in the States. As Aria wasn’t hurt, we thought it was funny in a messed up sort of way. Needless to say, the waiter didn’t score very high for good service in our “books”. We still left a tip, but not like we would have if the service rendered had been more satisfactory.
The bill was wrong too.

One Response to “Head Over Heels”

  1. Tara Hills
    August 8th, 2006 21:15
    1

    I can’t help it. I’m laughing, out loud. WHAT a cross cultural experience for the books. That’s a keeper (whhoooooo!!!)

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